Objective: We developed the Work-related Physical Activity Questionnaire (WPAQ) to measure occupational physical activity, including sedentary behavior and sedentary breaks (interruptions of prolonged sedentary behavior), during work. This study aimed to examine the WPAQ’s reliability and criterion validity using an accelerometer. Methods: To examine criterion validity, 97 full-time factory workers (male: 89.7%) wore a triaxial accelerometer while working and completed the WPAQ. The questionnaire inquired about participants’ normal work activities and the proportion of sitting, standing, walking, and heavy labor engaged in during work. In calculating time spent in each behavior, the proportion of each occupational activity was multiplied by the total minutes of work. Duration of uninterrupted sitting time was also measured. For reliability, the same questionnaire was administered twice (median test-retest interval: 9 days) to another convenient sample of 54 participants. Spearman’s ρ was used to assess validity and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and Cohen’s kappa with quadratic weighing were used to assess reliability. Results: The criterion validity of occupational sitting time measured by the WPAQ was moderate (Spearman’s ρ for sedentary behavior: 0.69) based on comparison with accelerometer data. Significant positive correlations were found for standing (ρ = 0.66) and walking (ρ = 0.39) between the WPAQ and accelerometer data, though not for heavy labor. A moderate but significant correlation (ρ = 0.27) was found for sedentary breaks. Test-retest reliability for all items was adequate (ICC = 0.59–0.79 for occupational sedentary behavior and physical activities, and Cohen’s kappa with quadratic weighting = 0.84 for sedentary breaks). Conclusions: The WPAQ has acceptable properties for measuring workers’ activities, including sedentary breaks. Reduced physical activity, increased time spent in sedentary behaviors, and fewer sedentary breaks during working time are all associated with adverse health outcomes. Though some occupational exposure to these activities might be unavoidable, the WPAQ may be a practical tool for assessing them.
Objectives: To investigate the systems and actual practices of occupational safety and health risk management in China. Methods: First, we gathered basic information through a literature review using an academic search engine (Japan Medical Abstracts society, Pubmed, and Google Scholar), as well as a general search on the Internet. Next, we conducted field surveys at a graduate school for public health, providers of occupational health services (e.g. medical examinations, working environment measurements), and local workplaces of a Japanese construction machinery company in China. This information was analyzed in terms of legal framework, professional staff, working environment measurements, medical examinations, occupational diseases, and occupational health service providers. Results: Health and safety-related matters have become codified in Chinese workplaces as a result of safety laws and measures to prevent occupational diseases. While the country does have safety and hygiene officers, they lack official frameworks for occupational physicians and nursing professionals. The employers are not obligated to appoint medical professionals. While general medical examinations are not provided for under Chinese law, businesses are obligated to bring in external providers of occupational safety to perform special medical exams and working environment measurements. Occupational diseases are on the rise; pneumoconiosis comprises roughly 80% of cases. In addition, occupational health technical service providers have specialized staff and are not permitted to perform medical examinations or other services without government accreditation. Discussion/Conclusion: There are great disparities in specialist knowledge about health and hygiene between company staff and external organizations, thus running the risk of corporate health and safety policies existing only on paper. This issue demands greater utilization of public health physicians in Chinese workplaces and support from Japanese professionals who understand how occupational safety and health risk management operate in China.